Acts 4.23-31

Released and charged with not speaking or teaching about Jesus, Peter and John went to their friends and reported what had happened. The believers then pray together and, essentially, thank God that His plan is going as it was predestined (vv.24b-30).

We often, and very naturally, think of Jesus’ crucifixion as a bad thing. A torturous and drawn out death reserved for the most heinous of offenders strikes us as bad thing. The believers here, however, are praying Scripture back to God and thanking Him that everything that happened was already pre-planned (v.28). They are looking at their current situation through the lens of Scripture and they see that it was always going to be like this. They reference Psalm 2 in their prayer, but could have referenced countless other texts to evidence this truth that it was always going to be like this.

Then, because they have seen that the past has played out just as God planned, they ask Him to strengthen them for the future:

“…now, Lord, pay attention to their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your message with great courage, while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus”.

(Acts 4.29-30, NET)

Knowing that the past had gone to plan helped them to pray the same for the future. They pray for courage to keep speaking and teaching about Jesus. They pray that whilst they do, that God would extend [His] hand to heal, and to being about miraculous signs and wonders through the name of…Jesus. They don’t ask for the ability to do miracles, simply to speak and teach about Jesus. They know what they have been commissioned to do (Matthew 28.16-20) and pray that God will help them to do it, and because they know that God’s plans in the past worked out as He said they would, they take confidence from knowing that His plan for them to proclaim Jesus will do so too. 

The same is true for you and for me. Seeing that God’s plans have played out as He said they would fills us with a confidence to step into tomorrow, come what may, knowing that what God has said about you remains true. Promises to be faithful to you, to guide you, to always love you, and to keep your soul from harm can be trusted all the more when we see how God keeps His Word.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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